Lost Ettore Sottsass designs go into production

Furniture and vases by the legendary Italian designer hit the high street courtesy of Kartell
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The Colonna stool, Calice vase and the Pilastro stool, from Kartell's newly produced Ettore Sottsass plans
The Colonna stool, Calice vase and the Pilastro stool, from Kartell's newly produced Ettore Sottsass plans

Not everything by the late, great Italian designer and architect, Ettore Sottsass made it into production. Some plans, such as his 1972 dispenser for incense, LSD, marijuana, opium and laughing gas, is unlikely to show up in the Alessi catalogue any time soon (despite the current enthusiasm for the latter in the UK right now). 

 

The six vases and two stools from Kartell's unearthed Sottsass plans
The six vases and two stools from Kartell's unearthed Sottsass plans

However, the Milanese manufacturer Kartell has just produced nine previously unrealized designs by the great man. The items, which includes six vases, a lamp and two stools, date from 2004, just a few years before Sottsass’ death in 2007.

 

The Daisy lamp from Kartell's new Sottsass range
The Daisy lamp from Kartell's new Sottsass range

While the products bring to mind Memphis – the 1980s postmodern design movement he co-founded – Kartell explained that it was recent technological innovations, not a newfound sense of nostalgia, which prompted them to realize these old plans.

Claudio Luti, Kartel’s president said, “technology enables us to realise Sottsass’ designs with a quality and sophistication that would have been impossible ten years ago.”

 

The Colonia stool from Kartell's new Sottsass range
The Colonia stool from Kartell's new Sottsass range

The Colonna stool, Calice vase and the Pilastro stool should go into production soon, while the other items may take some time to reach the market. Nevertheless, Kartell hosted a Memphis tribute at its flagship store in Milan to mark the unveiling of these newly produced works, re-upholstering a range of its better-known items by the likes of designers such as Philippe Starck in Memphis-era textiles.

 

Let's hope these all find their way into production sometime soon. For more on the exhibition and the range, go here. Meanwhile for a greater understanding of this designer and his work, including hundreds of drafts and designs, buy a copy of our Sottsass book here.

 

A Foliage print by Patricia Urquiola upholsters a Kartell sofa at the firm’s Memphis-themed exhibition
A Foliage print by Patricia Urquiola upholsters a Kartell sofa at the firm’s Memphis-themed exhibition


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